Music Biz 2016 ‘Songwriters & Publishers Town Hall’ to Address Evolving Role of Publishing in the Digital Age

music biz 2016

Event to feature keynote from Steve Bogard and presentations from top execs at Big Yellow Dog Music, BMG Rights Management, BMI, ole, Wrensong, and more

March 31, 2016 – The Music Business Association (Music Biz) will address the needs of the songwriting and publishing community in Nashville and beyond at this year’s Songwriters & Publishers Town Hall, which will be held on Wednesday, May 18, from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. during the Music Biz 2016 Convention at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. The event will be sponsored by Leavens Strand & Glover LLC. 

The event will feature a keynote presentation from Steve Bogard, Director of The Copyright Forum and a songwriter with BBR Music Group’s Magic Mustang Music who has written nine #1 Country songs, including George Strait’s “Carried Away” and “Carrying Your Love with Me” as well as Rascal Flatts’ career breaker, “Prayin’ for Daylight.” He also serves as ex officio advisor to the NSAI Board and sits on the Board of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation. His presentation will offer a unique viewpoint on today’s copyright issues, attacking the problem from both an artist and business perspective.

The Songwriters & Publishers Town Hall will also include a variety of panels featuring top publishing and performance rights professionals from companies such as Big Yellow Dog Music, BMG Rights Management, BMI, Combustion Music, Leavens Strand & Glover LLC, MusicSynk/LoudLab, ole, Secret Road Music Services, SESAC, Songtrust/Downtown Music Publishing, Streaming Promotions/Outside the Box Music, Word Entertainment, and Wrensong. Issues to be discussed include artist and songwriter development, indie publishing, synch licensing, streaming promotions, and more.

“The publishing industry is evolving rapidly in the digital age, making it difficult for songwriters to stay abreast of ever-changing digital music services while publishers take on new roles in artist development and more,” said Robby Towns, Director of Digital Strategy & Community at Music Biz. “It’s fitting that we tackle these issues head-on in Music City USA, the songwriting and publishing capital of the world. We look forward to a productive discussion that will give all in attendance a greater understanding of where things stand and what we can do together to improve the industry for all.”

Admission is included with a full Music Biz 2016 badge, which Music Biz members can purchase by clicking here. Passes for the Songwriters & Publishers Town Hall only can be purchased via Eventbrite. For updated information on Town Hall speakers and sessions, click here.

The full currently confirmed agenda is below.

9 – 9:20 AM
Songwriters & Publishers Town Hall Keynote
Although the business landscape has shifted drastically for the American songwriter, the world’s appetite for great original music is stronger than ever. Steve Bogard of BBR Music Group/The Copyright Forum will provide a brief overview of current copyright issues for songwriters, publishers, and PROs from a legislative, DOJ, and Copyright Office perspective. He’ll also recap positive signs in the recorded music market due to growth in streaming volume and income.

  • Steve Bogard, BBR Music Group/The Copyright Forum

9:25 – 10:15 AM
Breaking the Mold: Modern Music Publishing
Almost every segment of the music industry has become a hybrid of what it used be at its inception. This is a trend that remains true and continues to gain momentum for publishers. From blockchain methodologies for artists like Imogen Heap to managing their own releases and distribution, the modern publisher is agile and forward-thinking. Our roster of expert panelists will expand upon these topics and much more.

  • Moderator: Joe Conyers III, Songtrust/Downtown Music Publishing
  • Kenley Flynn, Combustion Music
  • Scott Jungmichel, SESAC
  • Mike Steinberg, BMI

10:20 – 11:10 AM
Indie Publishing 2016: How Artist and Songwriter Development Is Changing for the Independent Publisher
With more and more opportunities for music placements popping up each day and many listeners discovering new artists and songs via this exposure, the role of music publishing companies has evolved to include many aspects of A&R, including songwriter and artist development. This focus is even more pronounced at independent publishing companies, many of which are responsible for developing the careers of promising songwriters and artists who have gone on to sign major label record deals and score chart-topping tracks. During this panel, executives from two of the top independent music publishing companies in Nashville will examine this new landscape, provide tips for publishers on how to successfully implement artist development programs, and explain how aspiring artists can use publishing deals to their advantage to take their careers to the next level.

  • Moderator: John Ozier, ole
  • Ree Buchanan, Wrensong
  • John Pisciotta, MusicSynk/LoudLab
  • Kos Weaver, BMG Rights Management

11:15 AM – 12:15 PM
Forward-Thinking Business Models in Synch Licensing & Streaming Promotion
Today, artists are being launched by publishers and synch companies with fuel from major synchs in TV shows, movies, and advertisements. With the power of just one placement, labels then begin to circle with the hope of piggy-backing on this success. Additionally, streaming has created the ability for publishers to promote artists like Jessie James Decker through playlisting strategies with significant return. We’ll discuss some of the various opportunities for synch and streaming and how the landscape continues to change for publishers.

  • Moderator: Katie Jelen, Secret Road Music Services
  • Charles Alexander, Streaming Promotions/Outside the Box Music
  • Devon DeVries, Big Yellow Dog Music
  • Randall Foster, ole
  • Hillel Frankel, Leavens Strand & Glover LLC
  • Joel Timen, Word Entertainment

Music Biz 2016, which will return to Nashville from May 16-18, is the music industry’s premier event, giving the commerce and content sectors a place to meet with trading partners, network with new companies, and learn about new trends and products impacting the music business. Registration is open now. For more information or to sign up for the conference, visit